Tomoki Kitagawa


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Handwritten Character Generation using Y-Autoencoder for Character Recognition Model Training
Tomoki Kitagawa | Chee Siang Leow | Hiromitsu Nishizaki
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

It is well-known that the deep learning-based optical character recognition (OCR) system needs a large amount of data to train a high-performance character recognizer. However, it is costly to collect a large amount of realistic handwritten characters. This paper introduces a Y-Autoencoder (Y-AE)-based handwritten character generator to generate multiple Japanese Hiragana characters with a single image to increase the amount of data for training a handwritten character recognizer. The adaptive instance normalization (AdaIN) layer allows the generator to be trained and generate handwritten character images without paired-character image labels. The experiment shows that the Y-AE could generate Japanese character images then used to train the handwritten character recognizer, producing an F1-score improved from 0.8664 to 0.9281. We further analyzed the usefulness of the Y-AE-based generator with shape images, out-of-character (OOC) images, which have different character images styles in model training. The result showed that the generator could generate a handwritten image with a similar style to that of the input character.